Deconstructing Race: My Privilege Makes Me Uncomfortable
I've always felt uncomfortable with the privileges white skin gives me. I mean, I know my white skin can mean store clerks assume I'm honest. And nobody likes being stopped by the police, but I can at least be pretty sure I'll be treated fairly.
What really makes me ashamed though, is catching myself being prejudiced—say, stereotyping a black teen on the street, or making an assumption that somebody's cleaning lady is black. I always try to correct my thoughts quickly—and I've had more than 70 years of trying without getting it right. I think that's an example of how entrenched prejudice is in our society. Even with constant vigilance, no one in this so-race-conscious society can escape race prejudice.
Before moving to Yellow Springs, writer and former social worker Janeal Turnbull Ravndal lived forty-some years in Quaker communities.
Deconstructing Race is a series of commentaries about racial identity by Miami Valley residents. It's co-curated by Dr. Kimberly Barrett, vice president of multicultural affairs and community engagement at Wright State University.